Bharat Mata, that is, the Mother India (Bharat - India, Mata - Mother) is a personification of India, and relatively seen by some as a mother goddess of fertility. She is usually depicted as a lady, clad in a saree holding a flag.
The depiction of India as a Hindu goddess implies that it is not just the patriotic but also the religious duty of all Indians to participate in the nationalist struggle to defend the nation.
Bharat Mata ki Jai’ ("Victory for Mother India") is used
by the Indian Army
Prayer of Bharat Mata :
Ratnakaradhautapadam Himalyakirtitinim I
Brahmarajarsiratnamdhyam vande Bharatamataram II
Meaning of the Prayer :
I pay my obeisance to mother Bharat, whose feet are being a washed by the ocean, who wears the mighty Himalaya as her crown, and who is exuberantly adorned with the gems of traditions set by Brahmarsis and Rajarsis.
The image of Bharatmata formed with the Indian independence movement of the late 19th century. A play by Kiran Chandra Bannerjee, Bhārat Mātā, was first performed in 1873. Bankim Chandra Chatterji's 1882 novel Anandamath introduced the hymn "Vande Mātaram",which soon became the song of the emerging freedom movement in India.
Abanindranath Tagore portrayed Bharat Mata as a four-armed Hindu goddess wearing saffron-colored robes, holding the vedas, sheaves of rice, a mala, and a white cloth. The image of Bharatmata was an icon to create nationalist feeling in Indians during the freedom struggle. Sister Nivedita, an admirer of the painting, opined that the picture was refined and imaginative, with Bharatmata standing on green earth and blue sky behind her; feet with four lotuses, four arms meaning divine power; white halo and sincere eyes; and gifts Shiksha-Diksha-Anna-Bastra of motherland to her children.
Temples of Bharat Mata :
It is located in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth campus. The Bharat Mata temple was built by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936. The statute of Bharat Mata is built in marble and is a model of undivided India, depicting the mountains, plains and oceans.
Bharat Mata temple in Haridwar, built by Swami Satyamitranand Giri. Consecration of this temple took place on 15 May 1983. Here, Bharat Mata holds a milk urn in one hand and sheaves of grain in the other, which signify the nurture provided by the mother as a baby and as an adult.
There are many other smaller shrines of Bharat Mata for example at Vrindavan, Daulatabad Fort etc.
The painting is an attempt of humanisation of ‘Bharat Mata’ where the mother is seeking liberation through her sons.
- Jayanta Sengupta the secretary and curator of the VMH
As the conception of Bharat Mata predates the partition of India, she is intended as representing "Aryavarta", the motherland of Hinduism in Hindu nationalism, not restricted to the secular Republic of India, and Bharat Mata remains a symbol of the "vision of a unified motherland. in Hindu nationalist irredentism. A Bharat Mata temple in Haridwar was built by in 1983 by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).